January 31, 2006
State of the Union
Here we go. Buckle your seat belts because the theater of the absurd is about to open the 2006 political season. Yessirree! We will hear a speech designed to give Jon Stewart a month's worth of programming. And, while the President reads the speech, Members of Congress, the Supreme Court, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff will applaud, stand, and cheer, forty times. Does anybody believe this stuff?
Here are a few issues for the President. Exxon Mobil earned $36 billion in profit last year. I know, I know, money does not buy happiness but do you think the hogs are eating just a little more than their fair share? Gasoline approaching $2.50 per gallon just as the Exxon Mobil figures released. What say you Mr.President?
Global warming. Warmest year on record. Is it too late, Mr. President? (Just telling the NASA folks to shut-up is not a long-term strategy.)
"Iraq audit: waste, theft." And, record profits for Dick Cheney's company, Halliburton. Any thoughts, Mr. President?
"Early Aid Offered, Wasted by FEMA." How did Brownie do Mr.President? And tell us again, daddy, why your Katrina notes are classified.
"GOP Leaders Ask Bush to Disclose Abramoff contacts." Where are those pictures and the meeting notes, Mr. President?
Are you going to tell Congress and the courts that you are not bound by our laws? Who is in charge of listening to our conversations? Why? Finally, how did you get caught napping while Hamas won an overwhelming victory in what seems to be a fair election? Think our policies are not going over too well in the region?
Whoa Nelly, Mr. President. If you handle these issues tonight, you go right into the Harry Houdini museum in Appleton. Meanwhile if you need a seasoned travel agent, we have one in Milwaukee.
January 30, 2006
Interesting week coming
Today we will learn the fate of Sam Alito. Predictions are that he will be confirmed but there remains a chance for a successful filibuster. A moment of truth for all Democrats and four or five progressive Republican senators.
Jim Doyle is back from Iraq and may long for the relative safety of Baghdad as he faces the media. Mike McCabe will be busy at the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign because financial reports from candidates must be filed today. More "connecting the dots" work ahead.
And, of course, the State of the Union speech is tomorrow. Be still my heart. President Bush will read another speech, 535 Members of Congress will jump up, yell, sit down and jump up again. Wouldn't it be fun if just one jumped up and yelled, "Nonsense, Mr. President. You don't know what you are talking about!"
Don't count on that happening.
January 28, 2006
Can't wait! You?
Can't wait to carry a concealed weapon, take an 8-year-old hunting, and...and...well, I'm too excited to finish the thought.
This group of legislators really needs a full-time job. This part-time Legislature, with full-time pay, complete with health insurance and $88 per diem for showing up for five minutes, is loopy.
You read about a legislator explaining why it is dangerous to wait until age 12 to hunt and you think it is a Jon Stewart spoof but, alas, it is not. Why mention the lobbyist's legislator by name but he drives in from Waterford to the Capitol. Too much time to think. As my 5th grade nun used to repeat often, "An idle mind is the devil's workshop."
There is a gas in the dome that makes people think they are acting rationally when they are loony as ducks. Think about Senators Ellis, Decker, Lassa, who normally think rationally, voting to override the Governor's veto of the concealed weapons veto. Why? Do they really want minister Jones patting down folks as they come into church? Will principals of our schools have to do the same or could we train those new hunters, the eight-year-olds, how to find concealed weapons?
Time for a part time Legislature; two-year terms for Governor and other constitutional officers. The nuts have taken over!
Ah, but soon you can pack heat. Then look out for fender-benders because the guy whose car was damaged might get out shooting. Welcome to the world of Dave Zien! Welcome.
January 27, 2006
If It's Tuesday, it must be Belgium
Remember the movie? Well our governor was in Iraq on Wednesday, Pakistan Thursday, Indonesia on Saturday perhaps? "Unavailable for comment...he has not read the indictment or seen any details," said spokesman Leistikow.
Yah, sure Ole. The governor is flying around the world without a phone, email or newspapers? If you believe that, you probably believe that former DOA Secretary Marc Marotta hired Pat Farley based on his resume. (See MJS story.)
One can only hope that Doyle will return from his visit to our troops (who asked?) and clean house. If this is the best deputy Governor Susan Goodwin can do in running the show, time for a change. Somebody screwed-up and it is time for leadership. Then, late or not, Doyle must call a special session, outlaw campaign contributions from anyone or any entity doing business with the state, and demand public financing of campaigns. Will he do it or head for Brussels?
January 26, 2006
Bye-bye civil rights
"A filibuster is a radical tool. It's easy to see why Democrats are frightened of it. But from our perspective, there are some things far more frightening. One of them is Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court."
Okay, who said that? Was it the ACLU? Jesse Jackson? Granny D and Jim Hightower in a joint statement? Well, if you said the editorial board of the New York Times you would be right--and surprised. The NYT is normally stuck on the yellow line in the middle of the highway, but not so with the dangerous Alito who apparently believes the president can do no wrong.
Get used to the Roberts Court dominated by arch-conservative Roberts, wildly conservative Alito and then Scalia and his Tonto Clarence Thomas. Bye-bye civil liberties, the Americans With Disabilities Act, age and race-based suits; environmental protection. Welcome to Big Brother listening to your calls, reading political opponents' e-mail, detainees.
If this nomination is not worthy of a filibuster, what is?
January 25, 2006
Oh what tangled webs we weave
"Oh what tangled webs we weave when first we practice to deceive." That poem sums up the state of politics in Wisconsin and, indeed, the nation. Politicians pretend they are not giving a quid for the quo when a ten thousand dollar contribution comes in to help them get elected, but, as I said a thousand times when running for governor with a $100 limit on contributions, "Have any of you received $10,000 from a stranger?" Ask yourself. In your liftime, has anyone given you money for "good government?" I doubt it but perhaps it happens.
The startling headline in yesterday's Cap Times: "Doyle in Iraq." Really. He is in Iraq. Odd that his trip coincided with the announcement of a felony indictment in connection with the travel contract awarded to Craig Adelman's agency. Difficult for reporters to call the governor in Iraq for a statement.
Today the Ethics Board issues a decision on the fundraiser held by DOT's No.2 official for road-builders and, to make it worse, the fundraiser held by utilities for Doyle when sale of the nuclear plant was being considered by the PSC is under investigation according to U.S. Attorney Biskupic. (Biskupic was appointed by George Bush. As U.S. Attorney, he has near-complete control over a grand jury.)
So, here we go. Doyle administration officials expressing total shock; the accused has retained a very expensive defense lawyer; and the Republican challengers are drooling.
Ah, what tangled webs we weave when we set out to raise $15 million for a campaign.
January 24, 2006
The People's Legislature--number one; and Granny D Haddock--number 96. And did she give us a treat on her last day of 95. Her "Telling" at the Capitol brought everyone in the packed room to their feet. (We will post her speech.) She hit every note and instructed us all to take action or stop complaining.
E. Michael McCann laid it on the line. The MJS reported on his frank and forceful message of reform and "concealed" control of our government. Could have heard a pin drop while he spoke.
More tomorrow on Lyndee Woodliff's dramatic telling and Nino Amato's skewering of the PSC. It was quite a day.
January 23, 2006
One person's role
Often people ask, "What can I do? One person can't take on the system." Those who ask that question have never met "Granny D." She walked 3,200 miles in support of campaign finance reform. And she inspired people all along the path.
Now, at 96 she flew to Wisconsin with her message of hope. Today, hundreds at the People's Legislature will hear that message and some lives will be changed for the better. One person. Better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.
Granny D lights up the room.
January 22, 2006
Walk with Granny D
Tomorrow you have a chance to walk with a woman of age and distinction who believes one person can make a difference. She did and still does make a difference at the age of 95. "Granny D" Haddock is flying to Madison to help the People's Legislature (TPL) tell our political leaders to clean up the mess in Madison. And TPL has invited top incumbents to tell us why reform is so hard for them to swallow.
When she walked 3,200 miles across the nation at the age of 90, to draw attention to campaign finance reform, she ignited a movement. Her philosophy is clear: "We have a duty to look after each other. If we lose control of our government, we lose our ability to disperse justice and human kindness...greed has come between us and our self-governance."
(Be sure to read the superb Capital Times editorial written by John Nichols in the Sunday Wisconsin State Journal when it makes its way online.)
Granny D will join hundreds of citizens hellbent on reform at 10:30 Monday morning in the GAR room of the Capitol (417 North), for a telling. Join this inspiring womwan and the TPL. Let's take back our government from the lobbyists.
January 21, 2006
Granny D and more!
The headline in today's Cap Times will get your attention: "Grand jury eyes travel deal." The first sentence is enough: "A federal grand jury in Milwaukee is reviewing the controversial decision to award a major state travel contract to one of Jim Doyle's campaign donors..."
Will this serve as the wake-up call? Or will Doyle's fundraisers continue their reckless effort to raise $10 million for his reelection campaign?
Perhaps the appearance of "Granny D" at the People's Legislature Monday will set the tone for the future.
Hope to see you at the "Telling" at 10:30 Monday, 4th floor of the Capitol. Thus far the governor and John "per diem" Gard have declined our invitations. Come help us move Wisconsin to a leadership role. Never a better time.
January 19, 2006
Jon Stewart had fun replaying Hillary Clinton's speech in an African-American church as she attempted to play to the audience. "The Republican-controlled House of Representatives is run like a plantation," she said. And, in case someone was drifting off, she added, with emphasis,"And you know what I'm talking about."
Eugene Kane in MJS has a good column on "plantation politics" and he points out that "she conveniently omitted the fact that the U.S. Senate--dominated by white males with only a few women and one African-American--is a lot more plantation-like than the current House." Good point, well said.
Perhaps she meant well. Maybe she meant all of government. Who knows? But when she said "and you know what I'm talking about" the honest answer is, no, I don't. I want to like Hillary but she makes it very difficult as she leaps to the right, remains silent on Alito, and panders with her plantation comment. I can say, though, that it made for great TV on the "Daily Show."
January 18, 2006
State of the State
It would be difficult to watch the State of the State or State of the Union speeches with a group of middle school kids. Imagine the questions. "Why do those adults keep jumping up and clapping?" "Why do some of them remain seated while giving noiseless applause, all the while smiling at the people standing?" "Who is Betty Miller? Is she related to the Sue Miller the Governor introduced? And why did everyone cheer for the Millers? Did they do something?" "Why do they seem so happy? Don't we have high unemployment in Milwaukee, high tuition, huge prison population?"
The "Reagan touch" aside, Jim Doyle gave a good speech. Not what we wanted but he has done some good things, he attacked Wal-Mart, promised a smaller prison population. Not bad. I await your comments and the text of the speech. I wonder if the Millers will be there for the State of the Nation.
January 17, 2006
Once imprisoned by dictator Pinochet, Michelle Bachelet has been elected president of Chile. Don't you wonder what is going through Henry Kissinger's mind? He helped install Pinochet in a CIA-backed coup and now his nightmare has happened. A socialist elected to office in Chile.
Her father, an air force general was arrested and tortured for opposing the 1973 coup and, according to AP, she and her mother were arrested, blindfolded, beaten and denied food for five days "while their cellmates were raped." She was expelled from the country but returned to work in the underground with other leftist exiles to advance the socialist party.
Is this a story to celebrate? You bet. She got 54 percent of the vote. While the Bush administration gives incompetence new meaning and remains bogged down in Iraq, the face of our hemisphere is changing radically. Leftist victories in Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina and now Chile. The Bush administration is increasingly isolated in Latin America while the neocons plan the next war on Iran.
Meanwhile, the Zapatistas are on the march claiming that 50 million Mexicans live in poverty. The tide seems to be shifting.
Congratulations to president-elect Bachelet!
January 16, 2006
Martin Luther King day
To honor this great champion of Civil and worker rights, ask the tough questions. Why do African Americans make up a majority of inmates at Super Max? Why are a majority of adult African American men in Milwaukee unemployed? Why is tuition a barrier to poor students at our university?
Isn't it time to return to his agenda?
January 15, 2006
And the beat rolls on
Tom Hermann writes today on our site that "Democrats rarely miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity." My sentiments exactly as the Alito nomination moves inexorably toward confirmation. What bothers me about the process is the lack of competence and coordination among those who cherish a woman's right to choose, a minority's right to fairness, our collective right to privacy.
Why didn't the Democrats hire a top trial lawyer to cross-examine a guy who is smarter and more knowledgeable than they are? I know the answer, of course, and it is the ego-driven desire for face time on national TV. Isn't that pathetic. (Not a question.)
The Biden show reminds us of his disgraceful performance during Anita Hill's testimony in the Thomas hearings. This ego is out of control. Period.
So the Democrats now say they are using this as a base. This is Brownie using his FEMA experience on his resume. Are you kidding? Our only hope is that millions of people will demand a filibuster. But which Democrat has the guts to risk making Mrs. Alito cry again? (Was that an onion in her purse?)
We are in trouble. My hope is that we have bottomed out.
Who is we? Good question. See some of "we" on the 23rd for The People's Legislature. Can't stop fighting, but once in a while it would be nice to win one.
January 14, 2006
A faithful reader of this site responded to my comment about convicted former legislators engaging in lobbying their former colleagues. Her comment? "Arrogance and entitlement." My thoughts as well as Steve Foti, lobbyist for Miller Brewing, the Wisconsin Hospital Association and the people you never want to annoy, the Wisconsin Society of Anesthesiologists, prepares to testify against Scott Jensen.
What's going on? Come to The People's Legislature next Monday and comment.
Alito Hey! Don't despair. Democrats in the Senate are folding their tent but they say they are laying the groundwork for future battles. I'm not making this up. While a couple of generations of women and minorities will suffer and our environment may be irreversably ruined, what the hell. The notion of Senators effectively grilling a nominee is silly. We are, to quote Hightower, "In a world of hurt."
January 13, 2006
Still a lobbyist?
Some things boggle the mind. Steve Foti, the former majority leader in the Assembly, has apparently coped a plea in the caucus scandal. JS reports he would be the 4th legislator to be convicted of a crime. Of the five charged, only former Speaker Scott Jensen remains in the Legislature. And, believe it or not, Jensen is on the Joint Finance Committee, helping to draft the state budget. Think he has any problem raising funds for legal fees?
OK, so Foti is number four. Here is the kicker. Foti's "guilty plea would allow Foti to keep his lobbyist job. He claims nine clients, including Miller Brewing Co." Am I dreaming? Brian Burke and Steve Foti, out on Huber, actually return to the Capitol every day as lobbyists? Do they still get per diem?
Wouldn't you think legislators, convicted and jailed, would stay as far from the Capitol as possible? And, how do their resumes read? Whoa Nelly! OK, Huber law--no problem. I don't hyperventilate if they get no actual jail time. But lobbyists? The People's Legislature meeting on the 23rd of January in the Lobbyist's Legislature, will have something to say about this. Stay tuned.
January 12, 2006
That PSC is tough
The two Doyle appointees to the Public Service Commission voted to permit WE Energies an 11 percet increase on electric bills. Nice timing. Most of us are reeling from our heating bills even in this extremely mild winter and the oil companies remind us of the old song, "The vandals got the handles." Now WE Energies not only gets an 11 percent increase but praise from PSC chair Dan Ebert and member Mark Meyer.
I'm not making this up. Ebert praised the company for not asking for more. Honest.
Alito: I'll grant him this. He really wants this job. Really wants it. He can't "remember" why, at age 35, he proudly proclaimed membership in Concerned Alumni of Princeton that urged Princeton to return to the old days of white males. That's like saying you stumbled into a group having a bonfire. "How was I to know it was a KKK meeting?"
C'mon Judge. You claim you may be a different person now than you were in 1985 when you crowed that there is no constitutional right to an abortion? If you are different today, tell us.
This is an amazing show. Thank goodness for Shumer, Feingold and Kennedy. There is a chance he will not be confirmed. All thinking senators must worry about appointment of an extremist to replace O'Connor.
January 11, 2006
Could it get worse?
Joe Biden preening for the cameras seems more interested in polishing his moderate-man image than he does in eliciting answers from Judge Alito. Lindsey Graham ran so far out of bounds they sent a search party to find him. What did Graham do? He not only endorsed Alito publicly prior to the so-called confirmation hearings, but he was his "coach" at practice sessions. Be still my heart!
Graham, a member of the self-appointed moderate "gang of 14" and who sits on the Judiciary Committee, was coaching a witness prior to the hearing? They have no shame.
Russ Feingold asked Alito who was present for his practice session but Alito didn't say. Imagine for a moment if John Kerry had won. (He may have but that is beside the point.) Suppose he nominated Ramsey Clark to the Court. Suppose Kerry held a practice session for Clark--who would not need one--and Russ Feingold and Dick Durbin joined in. Lindsey Graham would have hyper-ventilated on camera.
How can we urge young people to take the system seriously when the Senators don't? This is farce headed for tragedy.
January 10, 2006
Here we go!
The questioning of Sam Alito will be disappointing. Of that you can be certain. Senators reading staff prepared questions, lousy follow-up, time constraints and lack of the instinct for the jugular that stopped Bork all lead to disapointment.
But the battle should go beyond the committee stage and be joined on the floor of the Senate. If liberal Republicans and Democrats can't stop this appointment, they can't stop anyone. He explains his memo to the Attorney General when applying for a job as mere puffing to get the job; he avoids all his memorandums on abortion, affirmative action, presidential power by claiming "no judge should have an agenda." Well, now, isn't that cute. He lays out a right-wing agenda as a young man, pushes that agenda as staff lawyer, lawyer and judge and now claims he will revisit his views and take on the mantel of objectivigy. Are we that gullible?
Call Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold. Register your opinion. If you are tired of the debate over abortion, Alito will be your man. No more debate. If you are worried about affirmative action running amok, support Alito. If you think we need a president without Congressional or Judicial oversight, then urge your Senators to confirm.
But wouldn't it be nice if the thinking folks in the Senate won one? Not for the Gipper. No, for our grandchildren.
January 8, 2006
Hope and taxes
Renee Crawford's wonderful article is our latest post. Please click on "The Hope Index." She knows from experience that people want to work, want to support their families and need hope to survive. My father used to praise the Work Projects Administration (WPA) because "a job gives people dignity and the ability to pay taxes."
Yes, my father thought everyone wanted to pay his or her fair share of the costs of government. He never asked for a tax break, but did wonder why the wealthy seemed to pay less than their fair share.
After reading Crawford's article, I read this headline in the Capital Times: "State Loses $4.7 billion in net worth." Many well-educated and highly-paid families were moving out of Wisconsin while less-well-educated and lower-paid families were moving in.
Frankly, the AP story made no sense until I read that it was based on a release from the Wisconsin Taxpayer's Alliance. WTA, inevitably described as "non-partisan" by the media, was the subject of an article I wrote in August of '03. The board of directors of WTA consists of bankers, Foley lawyers and a variety of fat cats who do not like to pay taxes. And just as dawn follows night, WTA's startling analysis concluded that the higher paid folks were leaving for better weather and lower taxes.
Well, Wisconsin can't do much about its weather, but you can bet WTA would like lower taxes on banks, utilities and the wealthy.
One slight flaw in WTA's analysis. I'm not making this up. They "did not survey those who left." Whoa Nelly. You mean the entire analysis of why people leave is the figment of someone's over-active imagination driven by a tax-cutting agenda? My, my. Say it ain't so!
So check out the August 2003 article on WTA, read Renee's "Hope Index" and wonder when, if ever, honesty will creep into the tax debate.
Instead of a questionable suggestion that people pick up and leave Wisconsin to save a few tax dollars, how about directing some tax dollars to our own WPA so the desperately poor can have hope and pay taxes.
Strong editorial in the Cap Times Sunday demanding Doyle get behind real electoral reform. Will he listen?
January 7, 2006
While we are upset with the false claims of WMDs and Sadaam's involvement in 9-11, incompetence may actually overshadow this administration's terrible policy decisions. Read this opening paragraph from an article in today's NY Times:
"A secret Pentagon study has found that as many as 80 percent of the Marines who have been killed in Iraq from wounds to the upper body could have survived if they had had extra body armor. Such armor has been available since 2003...but until recently the Pentagon has largely declined to supply it to troops despite calls from the field for additional protection, according to military officials."
What is the appropriate response? Should Rumsfeld be fired, Cheney and his side-kick be impeached, criminal charges brought? I can't imagine how the families must feel reading this news.
If one adds this to the FEMA response to Katrina and the lack of planning in Iraq following the invasion, a pretty sorry picture comes up on the screen.
My God. If the Commander-in-Chief sends our soldiers into battle in a foreign land...finish the thought yourself and let us know your feelings.
January 6, 2006
Inch by inch
When people ask if I get discouraged over our seeming inability to clean up our political system, I respond "no." I feel that way because the huge flashlight shining on the system, coupled with a sincere desire by more than 80 percent of the voters to eliminate special interest domination of our system, will prevail--ultimately.
The People's Legislature will meet on January 23, right in the den of inequity, to have a telling. We have invited Governor Doyle, speaker Gard and leader Schultz to tell us why publicly financed campaigns are not the answer.
The always flamboyant Mike Ellis said there is nothing new in the package offered yesterday by Governor Doyle and pointed a finger at Doyle who, he claims, killed real reform. "The only reason he is now coming out in support of even this tepid reform is so that he can cover his butt now that he is under the microscope for alleged ethical lapses." Well, now, Mike. A little strong? Perhaps, but if perception is reality, it seems like too little too late. But like the song, "Inch by inch, row by row, we're gonna let our ethics flow..."
Progress comes in teaspoons not large scoops.
Message to Mike Ellis: Okay, offer an amendment to make this package sing and we will join your chorus. We will help you on the 23rd of January.
We will be armed on January 23rd. E. Michael McCann will attend as will Granny D. Haddock. And there will be lots of legislators--People's not Lobbyists'-- who will join in.
January 5, 2006
One more tragedy, one more example of Bush's failure based on his appointment of political cronies. Twelve miners are dead, a town in pain, and all because of 270 safety violations, many serious enough to cause an explosion. So, where is the government?
Steve Griles was a mining lobbyist when President Bush named him the deputy secretary of the Interior where, according to the NY Times, "He devoted four years to rolling back mine regulations." Know what he is doing today? Yup! He is lobbying for the industry.
If that isn't enough to get your engine started, I don't know what would. Sounds like criminal behavior to me. Will there be an investigation? Don't count on it.
January 4, 2006
All about Jack
One can almost hear the public relations folks pouring over news backgrounders and explanations that Jack Abramoff was the only one--not the tip of the iceberg. Nonsense and double nonsense. He may be more than the tip, but he is not alone.
Thousands of lobbyists fill the corridors of the nation's Capitol. "Gucci Gulch," as one described the lines of lobbyists. What do thousands of lobbyists making tens of millions of dollars do all day? How do they gain the attenttion and the trust of members of Congress? Quick--this is a test.
They give money and lots of it; they help elect members and reelect them; they draft legislation; they take them on golf trips, buy expensive dinners, put family members on the payroll, get the appearances on TV shows. You name it and some lobbyist is doing it.
Fact is the lobbyists know more about the members of Congress than we do. They know strengths and weaknesses. They know who will roll over for football tickets and which ones prefer Wimbledon.
This outrage must stop and we, my friends, must stop it. Is is it going on in Wisconsin? You betcha. Pay to play is alive and well. Sad.
January 3, 2006
Year-end blame game
I spent many years running the NFL Players Union, but try to keep sports out of my blog. But at the end of the NFL season, losing teams fire their coaches and I can't resist a few comments.
The GM does not consult with the players or the fans, or hold a press conference to explain and answer questions. He takes the easy way out. If the coach is fired, it must be his fault. Never the general manager or the owner. It is bad coaching and poor player attitude. "They need more discipline" will be written by a sports know-it-all who never played the game.
I don't know about you, but I was damned proud of the
Packers last Sunday. They went out and played like it was for all the marbles. They tried to win and they did and in doing so, set a good example to young fans. Lose to get a better draft pick? Nonsense! I think the coach should be hoisted on shoulders for the way the Packers hung in this year with all the injuries they had. Ah, but why have a GM if he can't fire the coach, interview prospects, and take credit if the new coach wins. If he doesn't? Easy. Fire the coach.
What is the lesson for our youth? Winning is all that counts? If so, we will set one more lousy example for the next generation. Character should count for something. And that something is more important than winning a football game. Or throwing a game to get a better draft pick.
I say, well done Mike Sherman. Well done.
January 2, 2006
All men are created equal
Thought you might like to know how high the bar is to be the highest paid CEO in America. Terry Semel of Yahoo Inc. pulls in $109,301,365. (Don't you wonder why they don't round off or issue a news release? You know, Semel wearing a big foam rubber hand with index finger extended: "Hey, listen up! I'm number one.")
Here are a couple others just to let you know your climb to the top won't be easy:
Summer Redstone of Viacom gets $56,017,102. Could he still afford a nice meal out now and then if he paid Social Security taxes on all of it? I think so.
Ray Irani of Occidental Petroleum is paid a mere $52,648,142. I'll bet he is embarassed at the club when his friends find out he is only number 8 on the list.
Well, there you have it. Time to buckle-down and catch up. Happy New Year from the Top 10.
January 1, 2006
What a way to start '06
The Journal Sentinel published the best headline for 2006: "Kohl gears up for battle against unknown."
Like you, I have been assaulted with requests from many candidates to contribute before January 1, but not from Herb Kohl. His campaign manager is one heck of a fundraiser. How much? Exactly $321 in 2005. Wow, you say, he must be in trouble. But, fortunately, the campaign is not out begging. Herb Kohl loaned the campaign $2 million and his manager says they will start the campaign with $4 million. Here is the kicker: The campaign will not seek campaign donations but it will accept whatever comes in. Preferably $10 or less so the campaign can brag that the average contributor to his campaign gave less than $10. A real average man's campaign.
In case you are worried you won't hear from Senator Kohl, he has made up 100,000 DVDs for distribution telling voters what he has been doing. Chair of the GOP, Rick Graber, says, "I don't think he has been a player in the Senate. I don't know if anyone knows" what he has been doing. Kohl's manager explained this is because of the senators "quiet leadership."
Well time for some noise, Senator.